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2017 USA U16 Women

Additional Quotes: USA 100, Mexico 37

  • Date:
    Jun 8, 2017

USA head coach Carla Berube (Tufts University)
On the USA’s press in the second quarter:
We weren’t getting a lot of things going on either end of the floor – not getting the stops we wanted to. We were getting good shots and good looks at the rim and offensive rebounds, but they just weren’t falling. So, we decided to pick up full court and change the tempo of the game and see if we can generate some offense. And, the team did a really good job of getting into the passing lanes, deflecting balls, and then converted those to scores. We haven’t worked on our press, it was just them playing and taking it to that level.

Were you happy with how they executed the game plan against Mexico?
Mexico played a two-three zone, and we worked on a lot of things in our shootaround to prepare. Mexico had a great first quarter. They were hitting shots, and their leading scorer, Karina Esquer, who had a great game last night, had 15 points on us in the first half. We knew we needed to contain her and play at another level defensively in the beginning of the third quarter, and I think that really opened things up offensively.

On the USA’s up-tempo pace in the second half:
They shared the ball so well and almost gave up open shots to find their teammates. They are good passers, and they see the court well. And then we were knocking down shots, so it was a fun to end the game for us.

Fran Belibi (Regis Jesuit H.S./Centennial, Colo.)
On the game:
I think we played really well. It’s always good when you can keep a team under 40 and score 100 points. We played as a team and moved the ball around. We played good team defense.

On the USA’s up-tempo pace in the second half:
Really, the second quarter, it started with our press defense, allowing us to get steals and run in transition. That’s what helped us build our run.

Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./Eden Prairie, Minn.)
On shooting 7-of-7 from the field:
A lot of it was my teammates pushing the ball, a lot of fastbreak points and the offense the coaches gave us.

On setting a USA U16 women’s record:
There are a lot of players who have passed through, and I was surprised when I found out. It’s an honor.

Zia Cooke (Rogers H.S./Toledo, Ohio)
On the game:
We played good as a team. We started out kind of slow, but once we got together, and kept playing hard together, that’s when we turned it around. When we started the press, our defense got better.

On the USA’s up-tempo pace in the second half:
It felt so good for us to all work together. We all played good defense together, and that lead to easy baskets on the other end.

Jordan Horston (Columbus Africentric Early College/Columbus, Ohio)
On the USA’s full court pressure:
We came out with a lot of energy in the second quarter. We played tough defense and cheered each other on.

On the USA’s up-tempo pace in the second half:
It is always fun to get transition points. Everybody got the chance to touch the ball. We shared the ball well, and we all got excited for each other.

On the first quarter:
We started off sluggish. We should have started how we started in the second half. We did a lot better in the second half, especially with our defense and our intensity, and everything clicked for us.

Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran H.S./Valley Stream, N.Y.)
On the game:
We struggled a little bit in the beginning, defensively. We weren’t working as hard as we usually do, but in the second half it got a lot better. We started working hard, working together, moving the ball, setting good screens and looking for the open person.

On the USA’s full-court pressure:
I think our press frustrated them a little bit, and it helped us.

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